In fashion, ruffles are back in a big way. As Christine Whitney notes, writing in the March 2013 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, “Ruffles have kept a low profile since the ’80s. . . . The 2013 take is more sculptural than princessy, which makes the style feel modern and fresh.” Ruffles are design details unfamiliar to most women’s wardrobes, and designers and fashion editors provide guidance on how to accessorize the dramatic looks.
The March 2013 issue of InStyle looks to architectural ruffles as the foundation of dramatic evening looks: “These stiff, austere waves are more modern than the floppier furls of past seasons, making this feminine detail feel new again.” Regarding how to wear ruffles, InStyle suggests: “Ruffles act as their own accessory, so there’s no need to trot out your jewels,” ignoring the rigid choker accenting the Givenchy dress and the delicate pendant worn with the Balenciaga dress pictured on the page.
The March 4, 2013 issue of People takes a similar no-frills approach to ruffles, providing this tip: “Leave your big jewelry behind and allow your ruffles to make the bold style statement.” Singer Miley Cyrus is pictured in a ruffled white dress accented with stud earrings and a link style bracelet along with a ring.
By no means do all designers and fashion influencers embrace the advice given in InStyle and People with regard to wearing sizable jewels with ruffles: In this recent ad from Nordstrom that appeared in Vogue magazine, a ruffle-laden Lanvin dress is paired with a huge Lanvin pendant necklace.
The March 2013 issue of Harper’s Bazaar styles a ruffled Gucci top with huge white floral Oscar de la Renta drop earrings.
The December 2012/January 2013 issue of Harper’s Bazaar looks to sultry flamenco dancing as the inspiration for the designers Balenciaga, Givenchy, Gucci, and Chloe, whose runway designs are pictured above. Bazaar notes: “Whether featuring embellished skirts, necks, or sleeves, these maximal looks are expected to be scene-stealers on the red carpet this coming awards season.” Notice that the Balenciaga cropped top is accented with a petite pendant necklace, and that the Gucci ruffled dress we saw in InStyle is accessorized with a rigid choker.
Flamenco dance is a clear design influence on this look from Ralph Lauren Collection, which combines huge black drop earrings with a black ruffled bolero and hat to draw the eye upward.
The March 2013 issue of Glamour doesn’t articulate any advice about wearing jewelry with ruffled looks, but once again pictures the blue ruffled Givenchy dress with its rigid collar. The one item of jewelry spotlighted on the page is a pair of ombre blue cluster earrings from Send the Trend. The non-dangling design of the earrings keeps the adornment controlled; the design is pretty and feminine.
A Gucci flamenco-inspired gown is styled in the March 2013 issue of Glamour with gold and diamond earrings and cuff from Colette. The shoes are from Valentino Garavani.
The March 2013 issue of Elle highlights twelve of the spring collections. Shown above is a Balenciaga look with a cropped top and a delicate pendant. The dress by J. W. Anderson, pictured to the right, adds a blue bracelet that hits at the level of the ruffle, further emphasizing that design detail.
A ruffled “bralet” by J.W. Anderson is the focal point of the above ensemble from the April 2013 issue of Elle, and there is plenty of jewelry accessorizing the look. The model wears a gold and silver chevron necklace from Zoe Chicco; a yellow gold watch with diamonds from Dior Timepieces; a gold-bar ID bracelet form Garland Collection; a gold signet ring, gold band ring, and diamond line ring, all from Tiffany & Co., plus unidentified vintage earrings and bangle bracelet. The model’s pants are from Chloe and sandals are from Chanel.
Here’s the blue Givenchy ruffled dress again, this time in the March 2013 issue of Elle. The magazine notes: “Bad boy Riccardo Tisci softened his approach this season, with fluttering gowns, sweet ruffles, and bishop-sleeve jackets. But lest you think Tisci has turned in his wild card, each model wore a chunky S&M collar that served as a throwback to his tougher days.”
The March 2013 issue of People Style Watch provides this tip about ruffles: “they can be shape-boosting—just wear them where you want to draw the eye.”
Perhaps the best accessory advice appears in the February 2013 issue of Marie Claire, which acknowledges the alluring nature of ruffles, commenting: “Oversize ruffles—on skirts, tops, even heels—seduce with a dramatic wave.” Jewels pictured are an elaborate necklace from Montblanc, earrings from De Grisogono, and a ring from Cartier, plus a colorful wristwatch from Dior Timepieces. As for jewelry, Marie Claire notes: “Undulating curls of diamonds and silver bring to mind the dizzying (and dazzling) feeling of falling in love.”
Now that’s what ruffles are all about.